During my university days, I was often the only woman in my classes.
Back then, there were hardly any women who used to pursue computer science and engineering.
So building a career in a male-dominated field was something new and challenging for me.
But you know what?
I didn't let that discourage me.
Instead, I saw it as an opportunity to prove that gender should never define our potential in any field.
Here’s how I overcame gender biases and stereotypes:
🐉 I embraced the challenges. Stepping back was not an option, and surviving meant embracing the challenges and considering myself equal to all men, and that’s what I exactly did.
💚 My late grandma was my example, a courageous, independent, and spicy woman who had a quick wit and a powerful stance until her very last years.
🐉 I decided to seek guidance and mentorship. As a minority, I felt doubtful and skeptical from time to time, but seeking guidance helped me consider and keep myself as an equal personality.
💚 David & Amgwerd Urs helped and guided me so much in my early career.
🐉 Working on my confidence was a daily task. I chose to keep faith and trust in myself and move ahead with confidence no matter what.
💚 And when I felt like an imposter, I dared to ask for help: Peter, Marlijn, Caroline, you changed my world view!
🐉 Cultivating relationships and forming strong foundations helped me a lot. Networking can truly open doors to several opportunities and growth phases.
💚 There are too many names to mention here, but the one person who has opened the most doors in my life is my very best friend, Nicol, who opened the closed doors in my own heart and mind.
🐉 Lastly, communicating effectively has helped me too. Being clear about what you want and if you need any help is very important in spaces where you stand as a minority.
💚 The person who still holds the #1 prized superstar communication badge from me is Michel, and a new communication superstar in my eyes is Benjamin.
Now, it’s been 25+ years since I’ve been working in the engineering field, and one thing I would like to address is…
Succeeding in a male-dominated field not only contributes to personal and professional growth but also paves the way for future generations of women to pursue their ambitions in the same field.
It feels so good when I see women employees as my colleagues 😊
💚 Ana, Saeedeh, Pavlina, Reena, Rosalie, Nienke, Rekha, Agnes … and so on!!!
Speaking of that, have you been in a similar situation?
Let me know in the comments!
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